Welcome to The Gardens’ Press Room. This area is designed for the media professionals seeking information, images or other resources.
What are The Gardens?
The Gardens at Texas A&M University were conceived as a public teaching garden, meant to enrich people’s lives by connecting them with the living world of horticulture. The importance of plants to life on Earth is immeasurable. We depend on plants for the air we breathe, the food we eat, the shelter we need, and the medicine to keep us healthy. Through The Gardens’ numerous programs and educational materials, guests can learn about gardening, sustainability, ecosystems, conservation, and much more. In addition, recreation and events in our tranquil and eclectic landscapes help bring the community together.
We shaped The Gardens’ 27 acres into a unique blend of natural features and beautifully landscaped gardens, including a Texas Superstars® Garden, a Vegetable and Herb Garden, a Mexican Heritage Garden, and the iconic octagonal Pavilion. We invite you to visit this Texas treasure as it grows.
- The project is located on the Texas A&M west campus in College Station.
- The full name is The Gardens at Texas A&M University, but can be referred to on second reference as The Gardens.
- Phase I, which opened in June 2018, is a 7-acre outdoor classroom known as the Leach Teaching Gardens.
- The master plan encompasses 27 acres of Texas A&M’s west campus, which includes areas of intensely-planned educational gardens and beautifying natural features.
- The project is focused on hands-on learning that inspires people to feed our world, protect our environment, improve our health, and enrich our youth.
- Important Dates:
- 1998 – The Texas A&M Board of Regents designated White Creek and the surrounding riparian area as The West Campus Greenway
- 2011 – Dr. Mark Hussey, Former Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences, initiated The Gardens project
- 2015 – Construction of The Gardens began in January, when White Creek was stabilized and two pedestrian bridges were installed with a limited trail system. The bridges and trails connect the White Creek Apartments to the AgriLife Complex and the rest of campus
- 2016 – Texas A&M breaks ground on Phase I: The Leach Teaching Gardens
- 2018 – Phase I: The Leach Teaching Gardens is completed and ready for visitors. The Grand Opening is held on June 15, 2018.
Why are The Gardens important to Texans?
- The Gardens’ Phase I brings science to life through the 7-acre Leach Teaching Gardens, which provide hands-on learning and demonstrations.
- Visitors learn about subjects vital for people of any age: water conservation, food, and healthy living.
- Future phases will include many more educational and social areas and opportunities. The additions will turn the 27-acre master-planned garden into a crucible where art, culture, nutrition, and water conservation are not only taught but also inspired.
- The Gardens is a place to not only learn, but to gather together for events – or just for a short stroll.
Why are The Gardens important to Texas A&M?
- The Gardens is Texas A&M’s first large-scale public teaching garden, joining a national network of high-quality university gardens.
- The Gardens create an outdoor laboratory for applied research focused on food production, water quality, and conservation. This laboratory can be used across colleges, departments, and majors. For example, one water quality research project currently involves 3 colleges, 4 departments, 300 students, and 5 faculty members.
- The Gardens is a showcase (and laboratory) for Texas A&M’s internationally recognized plant breeding programs in crops, fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants.
- Plant examples include Basye Roses, peaches, melons, maroon carrots, 1015Y onions, mild jalapenos, maroon bluebonnets, TAMU wheat varieties, maroon hibiscus, and Texas Superstars®.
- Texas is setting the global standard for youth gardening and nutrition education through its Junior Master Gardener program. The Gardens will become the program’s international headquarters.
- The Gardens partners with many student organizations, such as the Howdy Farm, COALS Council and the Agronomy Society, providing a place for demonstrations, farmers’ markets, or gatherings.
- As Texas A&M executes one of the largest building phases in its history, The Gardens will continue to preserve and beautify a green space on campus.
Why is it important to build The Gardens now?
The Gardens’ main driving force is the need for hands-on learning experiences for students of food production and water conservation — vital subjects as the world’s population continues to increase.
The Problem: The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. Today, about 925 million people around the world suffer from hunger, and in Texas, 4.6 million people live with food insecurity. At the same time, our state’s obesity rate has now reached 30 percent. Malnutrition and hunger are real. These problems exist in our backyard and are still increasing.
The Solution: To feed and sustain our world, we need to develop better plant varieties, increase the use of sustainable farming practices, decrease food loss and waste after harvest, and educate communities on the power of proper nutrition, both locally and abroad. We are perfectly positioned to do this. Texas A&M AgriLife breeding programs have produced some of the most planted wheat varieties in the United States. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to research possibilities. In addition, as the number of home gardens increases, our Texas A&M AgriLife Extension programs are bringing best practices and nutritional information statewide. The Gardens is a venue for us to explain and showcase our work to students and the public.
What is included in Phase I?
Phase I of The Gardens, the Leach Teaching Gardens, is open as of June 15, 2018.
This portion of the Gardens serves as Texas’s leading teaching and demonstration garden. The seven-acre outdoor classroom includes a pavilion, outdoor classroom, and thematic gardens, such as a rain garden, food and fiber field, vegetable beds, butterfly and bee garden, and Earth-Kind® plantings.
What is included in future phases of The Gardens and when will they be ready?
Now that Phase I is complete, The Gardens will continue to grow. Eventually it may include items such as an amphitheater, learning center, children’s garden, rose garden, and great lawn. The 27-acre master plan also includes a feed-the-world-themed courtyard that will pay homage to the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Father of the Green Revolution, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug. The former Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor played a key role in fighting world hunger, and is hailed as having saved more lives than anyone else in the history of mankind.
How many future phases will there be?
The number of future phases will be determined by the gifts of our generous donors. Many areas of The Gardens are still a dream, not yet reality. The Gardens are an investment not only in Texas A&M, but also in the future. By giving to the Gardens, our donors are raising awareness of the importance of growing food and protecting our environment. With the help of forward-thinking donors, we will be able to bring our ideas to life.
Recent Press Releases
Texas A&M to unveil the Leach Teaching Gardens
Time to Sprout
Ground breaks for The Gardens, unique outdoor classroom, public green space at Texas A&M
Texas A&M University Breaks Ground on The Gardens
Going Wild at College
Long-planted idea for public garden about to sprout at Texas A&M
In the News
November 2016 – Spirit Magazine
The Gardens Break Ground
June 2016 – Dallas Morning News
Texas A&M breaks ground on epic 7-acre teaching garden
June 2016 – The Battalion
Texas A&M begins first phase of 40-acre green space
June 2016 – KAGS
TAMU breaks ground on new learning gardens
June 2016 – The Eagle
Groundbreaking education: Texas A&M’s teaching garden scheduled to open in 2018
November 2015 – Texas A&M Spirit
Carrying the Torch
August 2015 – KAMU
Dr. Welsh shares about The Gardens on “Garden Success”
December 2013 – The Eagle
Garden in works to green up Texas A&M’s west campus
November 2013 – KBTX
Texas A&M Moving Forward with Gardens & Greenway Project
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